New Law Eliminates Waiting Period For Gun In Missouri

New Law Eliminates Waiting Period For Gun In Missouri
Monday, 27 Aug 2007

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A new Missouri law makes it faster and easier than ever to get a gun. Backers say it just cuts through red tape. Gun control advocates say it's not a huge change, but believe lawmakers should have spent taxpayer dollars making more important revisions.

"Let's say there's a person who has an issue where they're in fear for their life and they need to get a gun fairly quickly," says Michael Meyer, of the St. Louis Association of Firearms Training Instructors. "If they had to wait ten days, that may be too late."

Now when you walk in a gun store, you can walk out with a gun, in minutes not days.

"It makes it fair as far as protection," Meyer says. "You won't be a victim."

Meyer says the law change does not mean Missouri is going soft on gun control, but simply cutting through red tape, and a duplication of background checks.

Gun buyers used to be required to fill out paperwork at their sheriffs offices. The sheriffs would do a background check, and issue a permit a week or so later. Meyer says gun dealers would then do the same FBI background check.

Now the dealer is the only stop. Once they complete the FBI background check, which consists a phone call from the dealer and usually takes minutes, the buyer can legally purchase a gun.

"We're not eliminating any background check, we're just speeding them up," Meyer says.

People who oppose the concealed carry law say this isn't huge, but it does make getting a gun faster, which they say isn't necessarily better.

What would be better, says Stacey Newman, of the Executive Director of the Missouri Women's Coalition, is lawmakers working harder to keep guns away from criminals and kids.

"We need to make it tougher for those that are minors to obtain weapons," Newman says. "This
technically doesn't aid that, but I think we can obviously do much better."

Meyer says this law won't mean more criminals committing gun crimes.

"Criminals will always have access to guns illegally," he maintains.

Newman says, "I don't think this is a major change, but I also believe it's a waste of taxpayer money. It makes me angry that we're not focusing on the true values of protecting people and helping people."